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Old 03-14-2012, 10:53 PM
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Default Seven Eating Strategies for Mass P.II

5) Make the Most of Your Pre- and Post-Workout Nutrition
One of the most crucial times for mass gains is around the time of your workouts. What you consume immediately before you train and in the 2–3-hour window after training impacts not only how much weight you add but also how much of that weight will be muscle tissue.

Bigger Is Better: A 180-pounder should consume about 270 calories both before and after training (540 total calories or about 3 total calories per pound of bodyweight). You can shift the calories a bit, depending on how well you handle a shake before you train, going with fewer before and more afterward. Get in about half of these calories from protein and half from fast-digesting carbs. This means consuming a little more than 30 grams of carbs and 30 grams of protein before and after you work out.

Balance Is Better: Around the time of your workouts, the rules are essentially the same for guys who add weight easily. The only difference is that bodybuilders in this category tend to weigh more than hardgainers, so you’ll be taking in more total calories in the same 1:1 ratio before and after your workout. If you weigh 200 pounds, you need a total of about 600 calories (or 3 calories per pound of bodyweight), split evenly before and after training sessions (300 calories at each meal). This means taking in a little more than 35 grams of protein and 35 grams of simple carbs both before and after you train.

Make It Easy: Drink a shake that’s about half protein and half carbs before and after your workouts.

6) Go Liquid
When you’re trying to choke down quality calories for muscle growth, one of the biggest battles is how much food you actually have to eat. Experienced bodybuilders know that consuming liquid calories is one of the easiest and fastest ways to power down calories to put you into a surplus so you can grow.

Bigger Is Better: If you can’t get down all the whole-food calories for any particular meal, eat as much as you can and drink a shake in addition to the meal. Compared to force-feeding whole foods, you’ll feel a little less bloated and your digestion will be quicker, allowing you to be hungrier when it comes time to consume your next meal.

Balance Is Better: If you add bodyfat easily, consider using this tip to get in the calories you need. But also be aware that your hunger is a pretty good guideline for the amount you can consume to add quality muscle. If you’re drinking too many calories beyond your hunger threshold, then you may be adding more bodyfat than muscle mass.

Make It Easy: If you’re a hardgainer, drink calories after whole-food meals to take in more than you would from whole foods alone. If you add bodyfat easily, add only liquid calories if you’re not full from your whole-food meals.

7) Increase the Quantity of Your Bedtime Snack
You burn energy when you sleep from both fat stores and muscle tissue. When you’re in a growth phase, it’s crucial to slow your muscle loss while you sleep because it’s during this time that you’re fasting. But don’t consume carbs before bedtime because they’re more likely to lead to bodyfat storage. So avoid all forms of carbs and emphasize protein in your bedtime snack.

Bigger Is Better: While you should avoid carbs, consume reasonable quantities of dietary fats. They’ll provide satiety and keep amino acids in your bloodstream longer. Consider whole foods such as deli meats, lean red meat and whole eggs, all of which derive their calories almost exclusively from protein and fat (but check your deli meats, as some are infused with carbs in the form of sugars and may be spiked with sodium). A180-pounder should take in about 450 calories (2.5 calories per pound of bodyweight) at this meal. Strive to get in 30-50 grams of protein at this meal.

Balance Is Better: To avoid adding bodyfat, scale back your bedtime snack a bit from the hardgainer, going for 2 grams per pound of bodyweight. This means consuming up to 400 calories for a 200-pounder. While you don’t need to consume 100% of this from protein, you should get the balance of these calories from protein foods or shakes. Emphasize slow-digesting forms of protein such as casein at this time of day, and scale back on the calories a bit if you notice that you’re putting on more bodyfat than you’d like.

Make It Easy: Consume a large bedtime snack every night that contains no carbs. Hardgainers can take in a balance of protein and fat. Those who add bodyfat more readily should emphasize slow-digesting proteins over dietary fat.

Bonus Strategy: Make Protein a Priority
The seven tips listed above might be tops, but I couldn't discuss eating for mass without mentioning protein.

While adjusting your intake of carbs and dietary fat makes all the difference in packing on mass, your protein intake remains an essential part of the equation. Be warned, however, that protein has a pronounced satiating effect, meaning that increasing your intake above what’s typically recommended for bodybuilders will make it tough to increase your consumption of the other two macros. To make sure your body has the nutrients it needs to build muscle, never dip below 1.5–2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight each day, and always remember that increasing your protein beyond that range can actually erase your hunger and hinder your gains.

Bigger Is Better: Whole-food protein sources are usually ideal, but hardgainers will benefit more than any other group from liquid protein sources like whey and casein. The speed of digestion for liquid sources leads to a greater insulin spike, meaning you’ll be more likely to store those nutrients where they’re needed.

Balance Is Better: The extra surge of insulin caused by liquid protein sources may be a blessing for lanky bodybuilders, but insulin also plays a role in fat storage. So if your body has a knack for packing on fat, stick to whole-food proteins, which digest more slowly, and consume them with a source of fat to minimize your insulin response.

Make It Easy: Hardgainers should drink whey protein shakes pre- and post-workout. And for an even greater insulin response, include a dose of carbs with your shake. If you gain fat easily, however, combine whole-food protein and fat sources for minimal insulin production by eating a fattier cut of meat.
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